With the four signings yesterday, we have new players to add to the depth chart. For this in-between period before the state of free agent signings is known, we are just guessing about who will and won’t be on the list of NHL-contracted players this fall.
Maple Leafs sign four players to ELCs
I have left on the list every player who is a pending RFA, assuming they will be signed. This likely won’t turn out to be true, but for now, we’ll go with it. I’ve taken off all pending UFAs, so the list is bare in places. Worryingly bare in places.
In the 2017-2018 season, the Leafs had one player under contract who did not play on either the Leafs or the Marlies. That player was Carl Grundstrom. As of now, we don’t know where Pierre Engvall and Jesper Lindgren will play, but it’s entirely possible they will not be loaned back to their European clubs.
Notes on the choice of order and category: Players are LW or RD by their natural position or shooting hand. Many of these player do play their off side. You can adjust for that as you look at the list. This is NHL-contracted players only, and the order leans towards NHL-proximity or usage in the NHL, but is just an approximation. The last four names in the LW list are alphabetized because I just couldn’t chose an order. Web version.
2018-2019 Projected Depth Chart
|C||LW||RW||D - L||D - R||G|
|Auston Matthews||Patrick Marleau||William Nylander||Morgan Rielly||Nikita Zaitsev||Frederik Andersen|
|Nazem Kadri||Zach Hyman||Mitch Marner||Jake Gardiner||Connor Carrick||Curtis McElhinney|
|Par Lindholm||Andreas Johnsson||Connor Brown||Ron Hainsey||Igor Ozhiganov||Garret Sparks|
|Miro Aaltonen||Josh Leivo||Kasperi Kapanen||Travis Dermott||Timothy Liljegren||Calvin Pickard|
|Adam Brooks||Matt Martin||Jeremy Bracco||Andreas Borgman||Justin Holl||Kasimir Kaskisuo|
|Frederik Gauthier||Pierre Engvall||Trevor Moore||Martin Marincin||Vincent LoVerde||-|
|Chris Mueller||Carl Grundstrom||-||Calle Rosen||Jesper Lindgren||-|
|-||Mason Marchment||-||Andrew Nielsen||-||-|
This is where I laugh in a sort of hollow way about the centre depth. Just play Nylander! Okay, maybe, possibly even likely without a much better option being added from the outside. That might work out. And then what? What’s your RW depth now? And are you swapping a LW? Okay, so how’s that look now?
To say this looks unfinished is an understatement. I think there’s names to be added yet, and they won’t be draft picks coming in on the bottom of each category. You can make a team with what is here, sure, but your call-up list is weak, and a rash of injuries would be a disaster.
Also, are you a right-shooting defender? You can totally get a job on the Leafs.
Not a lot has changed on the pipeline list — which is all Leafs draft picks not under contract — other than the two names removed. All non overage juniors or NCAA players are assumed to be returning to their teams, but there’s some rumours out there that some might not. Vladislav Kara is suddenly listed on Elite Prospects as under contract for two more years, so we can assume that’s true.
The top of the list shows the players whose rights expire in two weeks. If they aren’t signed, they will come off. As will Nolan Vesey on August 15, since a contract there seems very unlikely. Until the draft rolls around, this list looks very bare, and will get worse in a two weeks.
Maple Leafs Pipeline as of May 17, 2018
|Name||Birthdate||Pos||2017/2018 Team||2018/2019 Team||Rights Expire|
|Keaton Middleton||February 10, 1998||D||Saginaw Spirit, OHL||June 1, 2018|
|Vladimir Bobylev||April 18, 1997||C||Toros Neftekamsk, VHL/MHL||June 1, 2018|
|Nicolas Mattinen||March 5, 1998||D||Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL||June 1, 2018|
|J.J. Piccinich||June 12, 1996||RW||Orlando Solar Bears, ECHL||June 1, 2018|
|Nolan Vesey||March 28, 1995||LW||U. of Maine, NCAA||August 15, 2018|
|Martins Dzierkals||April 4, 1997||LW||Orlando Solar Bears, ECHL||June 1, 2019|
|Ian Scott||January 11, 1999||G||Prince Albert Raiders, WHL||Prince Albert Raiders, WHL||June 1, 2019|
|Fedor Gordeev||January 27, 1999||D||Flint Firebirds, OHL||Flint Firebirds, OHL||June 1, 2019|
|Ryan McGregor||January 29, 1999||C/LW||Sarnia Sting, OHL||Sarnia Sting, OHL||June 1, 2019|
|Eemeli Räsänen||April 6, 1999||D||Kingston Frontenacs, OHL||Kingston Frontenacs, OHL||June 1, 2019|
|Dakota Joshua||May 15, 1996||C||Ohio State, NCAA||Ohio State, NCAA||August 15, 2019|
|Joseph Woll||July 12, 1998||G||Boston College, NCAA||Boston College, NCAA||August 15, 2020|
|J.D. Greenway||April 27, 1998||D||U. of Wisconsin, NCAA||U. of Wisconsin, NCAA||August 15, 2020|
|Ryan O'Connell||April 25, 1999||D||Penticten Vees, BCHL||Boston University, NCAA||August 15, 2022|
|Yegor Korshkov||July 10, 1996||RW||Lokomotiv, KHL||Lokomotiv, KHL||Indefinite|
|Nikolai Chebykin||August 1, 1997||LW||Dynamo St. Petersburg, VHL||Slavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL/VHL||Indefinite|
|Vladislav Kara||April 20, 1998||C/W||Bars Kazan, VHL/Ak Bars KHL||Bars Kazan, VHL/Ak Bars KHL||Indefinite|
The Leafs now have two seventh round picks under contract in Pierre Engvall and Andreas Johnsson, two non-drafted players in Trevor Moore and Mason Marchment, and a host of other free agent signings. It’s hard to be too unhappy about the remnants of drafts past looking thin, given that level of success at stocking the team.